2008 Automation Sales Up in Brazil

The world economic crisis is an uncertainty for the business in 2009. Sales by Brazilian electrical and electronics suppliers—including the industrial automation segment—totaled 3.6 billion Brazilian Real in 2008, a 15 percent increase over 2007, according to figures released recently by the Brazilian Electrical and Electronics Industry Association (or Abinee, for Associação Brasileira da Indústria Elétrica e Eletrônica).

Aw 1668 0901brazil

The association board of directors stated that the world financial crisis didn't affect significantly the sector growth foreseen for 2008, thanks to strong activity during the year. The Abinee research indicated that the domestic market was a major driver for the electrical and electronics industry businesses in general. Some specific segments, such as sugar and ethanol, chemical and petrochemical, automotive, metallurgical, and oil and gas, among others, made important investments in industrial plant enlargement during the year. This helped to open a wide market for businesses that handle industrial automation products and services.

However, 2009 brings an uncertainty to this market. Some specialists believe that what is affecting the businesses of the industrial automation segment is not the increase in the strength of the dollar, but the general uncertainty about the world economy. This could provoke the stoppages, delays or postponements of projects for new market evaluations and return-on-investment analyses.

“We are seeing some evidence that the world economic crisis is affecting Brazil in a stronger way than we imagined,” said Humberto Barbato, Abinee president. “But 2009 should not be a catastrophe for the electrical and electronics industry,” he predicted. Barbato said his positive perspective is based in part on expected investment continuity for projects that do not depend on external financing, such as PAC (Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento, or Program of Growth Acceleration, a Brazilian government economic strategy) and those of Petrobras, the government owned energy company.

Other numbers from Abinee showed that the Brazilian industrial automation suppliers increased their exports by 13 percent last year, while imports were up by 31 percent.

About the author

Sílvia Pereira, silviapereira@uol.com.br, is a freelance journalist based in Brazil.

More in Control